Reef Stocking Question

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Stocking' started by Esimm03, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

    So my friend is moving into London and offered me his red sea reefer 350, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good stocking? It needs to be cheap fish that look nice, I'd quite like a school of Cromis and a yellow tang if possible.

    At current I've got the following that would go in the tank:

    2 - occolaris clowns
    1 - firefish
    1 - cleaner shrimp
    1 - tail spot blenny
    1 - ghost cardinal

    And tonnes of coral, so it needs to all be reef safe.

    Thanks in advance and any suggestions are greatly appreciated .

  2. Tony_097Valued MemberMember

    I’ve recently looked into the different varieties of cardinals ,a school of threadfins could be you. Wrasses like the yellow coris and the pink streaked are my favorite. I don’t know however if those species are cheap in the UK.
  3. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    WOW WOW WOW ETHAN!! Quite a step up in size.:) Congratulations my friend. You'll have a total system volume of about 90 gallons!!! WOW!!!!

    Eek... I'm no good at stocking big tanks. I do know I'd definitely look into wrasses. The tank is about 4 feet long so a tang may be a possibility. I'd definitely want to check in with other big tank keepers though... so wait for some others to chime in on that one. Why not just head over to LiveAquaria and filter by tank size just to show which fishes can comfortably live in that awesome, awesome tank you're getting?

    Errmmm, I've seen and heard that chromis are not really schooling fish we want them to be. They are damsels after all and as far as the common blues and yellows, I've witnessed many reports of them picking each other off after maturation... like, until only the meanest toughest one is left. Of course, you know that I'm a nano keeper and don't actually have experience with big fish and big tanks, so definitely do your own research.;)

    Gosh... I can only think of a few at the moment, but I'll tag the big tank keepers I can think of who should be of more help than I am. :) @Culprit @Jesterrace @Wild Bill
  4. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    First congrats on your tank. Very nice.

    Now to figuring out your stocking list:

    1) I would avoid Chromis. Many are shipping with nasty diseases these days and many people with tanks larger than yours end up tearing out their hair trying to keep groups of them. More often than not they will pick each other off over time in captivity. If you want a schooling/grouping type fish then Zebra Barred Dartfish and certain types of Cardinalfish are the way to go. Just be sure you add them at the same time

    2) Yellow Tangs are eye catchers, but the sad truth is that they are more often than not aggressive buttheads. I had to remove one from my 90 gallon tank last year. It was about 4 inches (half grown) and for the first month was great. After the first month I noticed a chunk missing from the lower fin of my coral beauty dwarf angel and some shadowing type behavior from the tang. I also noticed "white scratches" on my CB and then one day I caught the Tang backing up and slapping the CB with it's tail scalpel and a new "white scratch" appeared on the CB. Given the fact that the CB was the one fish my entire family picked out that we wanted, we gave the Yellow Tang the boot. The problem with Tangs is that they can be aggressive bullies and a 73 gallon tank (which is what your tank is) is really pushing it for even the smallest Tang (Tomini aka Flame Fin Tang). The Yellow Tang really needs a larger tank with a more aggressive fish of similar size to keep it in check and the tank doesn't really offer space for another fish of that size.

    It's pushing it a bit but you could look at a One Spot aka Blotched Foxface as an alternative. That is what I replaced my Yellow Tang with and the tank is MUCH HAPPIER!!!!!!!!! If you get a smaller one it could work out for you and as long as they are well fed they are generally reef safe.

    Here is what they look like:

    As mentioned above by the ever wise Stella Wrasses would be a fabulous addition. If the Foxface doesn't quite work based on availability and price (since your country robs you blind on consumer type goods) you could try the Yellow Wrasse. It has a similar bright Yellow color to the Yellow Tang and is very active. It may pick off the occasional invert but it will leave corals alone and will provide pest removal service for your tank (they eat pest snails, fireworms and bristleworms). Wrasses have very unique individual personalities and are fun to observe. I love my Melanurus Wrasse (same main family as the Yellow Wrasse) and my Blue Star Leopard Wrasse (aka Peacock Wrasse). The Yellow is pretty widely available world wide and is a pretty inexpensive fish by saltwater standards (runs about $20-$25USD here in the US). You could also try the fairy wrasse option. The Lubbock's/Multicolor Fairy Wrasse is my favorite of the bunch. And it happens to be the cheapest fairy wrasse available.

    Here is an example of a Lubbock's aka Multicolor aka Tricolor Fairy Wrasse:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2019
  5. Esimm03Well Known MemberMember

    They are quite nice wrasses! Would a leopard wrasse work? I'm looking for something to eat bristle worms in addition to looking nice! I was looking into possibly a school of bagii cardinals (apologies if that's not the correct spelling) or pajamas if they are cheap.


    It is quite a step up from my original 15L, just put the deposit down, a full setup with LR, skimmer, and light not bad for £1k!

    Liveaquaria is good, I'll check it out, I used it to stock my 50L, thanks for reminding me.

    I think I'll stay to bank fish and have tonnes, I've got my original 6 which I want to keep, I'll definitely have lots of firefish as we all like them here!

    I've seen schools of them in fish stores so it may be a case of it depends on individual fish.

    Thanks for tagging them, hopefully I'll have a good stocking in mind soon! Picking the thing up on Tuesday if all goes well!

  6. JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Leopard Wrasses are gorgeous but very delicate shippers and can be picky copepod eaters. With them it's a case of litrally picking the right fish. The best way to get a Leopard Wrasse is to wait for your LFS (Local Fish Store) to do a bulk order of them and come back a couple of weeks later and see which ones are still active and eating frozen or pellet foods. This ensures you get a hardier and more adaptable specimen. Case in point in July of last year my LFS ordered 6 of them. 3 regular Leopard Wrasses and 3 Blue Star Leopard Wrasses (aka Divided Leopard Wrasses). 2 of the regular Leopard Wrasses were dead in the first week, 2 of the Blue Stars sold and I have no idea what happened to them. 2 weeks later and the remaining Leopard Wrasse and Blue Star Leopard were there. The regular Leopard was very lethargic and looked near death. The Blue Star Leopard on the other hand was very active and appeared not to have a care in the world. I bought the Blue Star and brought it home. Within a day it was nibbling on Seaweed and a couple of days later it adapted to my food of choice (LRS Reef Frenzy) and nearly 9 months later it is still going strong and very active and eats like a pig.

    The point is that unless you pick the right fish they are nearly impossible to keep alive.

    Here is my Blue Star aka Divided aka M.Bipartitus Leopard Wrasse: